ECU wins non-conference finale at Minges

The Pirates captured their first win of the new year Saturday night, 91-60, against Division III North Carolina Wesleyan.

Following a disheartening overtime loss to Campbell earlier this week, the Pirates regained their confidence and bounced back with a 91-60 win Saturday against NCAA Division III North Carolina Wesleyan, of the USA South Conference.

ECU did most of its damage inside; outscoring the Battling Bishops 44-14 in the painted area. Maurice Kemp had a team-high 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Auburn transfer Ty Armstrong had a career-high 14 points and collected 8 boards.

The visiting Bishops did have the crowd at Minges Coliseum thinking it could be another closely-fought contest when they tied the game at 26-26 with 6:36 to play in the first half.

Then, just like that, everything began to click for the Pirates.

ECU scored the next 15 points and closed the first half on a 18-7 run.

In the opening 20 minutes, the Pirates forced Wesleyan into 13 turnovers and scored 22 points off of them. The Bishops would finish the game with 19 giveaways.

Coming out of the locker room, the Pirates showed no sign of slowing down; padding their lead with another 18-7 run, which included the frame's first 8 points.

When the game was decided, ECU was able to utilize its bench and give some of the lesser-known players extended minutes.

In the game's final moments, walk-on Peyton Robbins split a pair of free-throws for his first collegiate point.

After having not scored in the game's first 25 minutes, Miguel Paul finished with 13 points, 3 steals, and five assists.

A couple nights after draining six 3's, Akeem Richmond hit two treys (2-7) and scored 10 points.

In a losing effort, Wesleyan's Brandon Givens had a game-high 23 points and 9 rebounds.

The Pirates will begin their Conference USA slate Wednesday against Memphis inside the FedEx Forum.

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